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Flats plan for £1.5 million former oil and gas HQ in Aberdeen

The £1.5m offices at Quattro House, Altens, could be converted into flats
The £1.5m offices at Quattro House, Altens, could be converted into flats

An empty Aberdeen office building – recently valued at £1.5 million – could be partially demolished to make way for flats.

Quattro House, in the south of the city, has lain empty since Petrofac vacated the premises in summer 2015 – with the energy services firm later paying a reported £5.5m to escape the remaining five-year lease in 2019.

Having been on the market as offices since 2016, the owners have concluded the “no serious interest” over the last five years “demonstrates no demand for the site in its current form”.

Faro Capital has now indicated it wants to knock down the southern wing and part of the main building of the Altens office complex to build around 90 apartments.

The real estate investment firm, through consultants Halliday Fraser Munro, has lodged a proposal of application notice (POAN) with Aberdeen City Council.

These are the latest in the ever-growing list of plans to convert former Aberdeen commercial headquarters to adapt to diminished demand from the oil and gas industry.

Similar proposals were recently revealed for Atholl House in Guild Street and Alba Gate in Dyce, while Tullos’ Craigshaw House site could become the north-east’s first Tim Hortons coffee drive-thru.

Chartered surveyors AB Robb recently estimated there was a five-and-a-half-year supply of office space in Aberdeen, which was making the empty blocks “financially unviable” when paired with the “exorbitant” costs – including business rates – of keeping them.

What are the plans for Quattro House?

Quattro House is still listed for sale at £1.5m with commercial estate agents Knight Frank, marketing the two-storey Wellington Circle offices as 44,425 sq ft of space.

Its south wing, which could be destined for the wrecking ball, is approximately 9,000 sq ft in size.

Halliday Fraser Munro senior planning consultant, Julie Robertson, said: “It is proposed to replace the southern wing with new build residential apartments.

“For the main building, it is proposed to repurpose and convert it to residential apartments, including additional upper storeys.

“Overall the proposed development will have a smaller footprint and therefore there is opportunity to provide high quality outdoor amenity space for residents.

“It would be considered to be a sustainable reuse of a redundant building, through repurposing of the majority of the existing buildings rather than complete demolition and rebuild.”

Vehicle access to the new residential development would continue to come from Wellington Circle, with a new pedestrian route added from Wellington Road.

These, Ms Robertson said, would also serve residents in Redmoss and Charleston and the surrounding commercial sites in Altens.

A POAN is a requirement ahead of submitting formal plans for developments of more than 50 homes and is a chance for developers to consult the public before finalising proposals.

Views will be taken late next month or in April through an online public exhibition, with local councillors and residents to be informed.

This consultation – virtual due to the coronavirus – is advisory and would not feed into the council’s planning process should the scheme progress.

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